Bioshock Infinite's Elizabeth shaped by Ken Levine's experiences

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Bioshock Infinite - Elizabeth

The Bioshock series has shown off a few human issues in its time; the ethics behind child experiments, human genetic manipulation and artificially manufacturing the father-daughter bond. CVG are reporting that Infinite will offer something slightly more personal, with the history of central character Elizabeth drawing influence from designer Ken Levine's personal experiences. Read on for the full story.

In Bioshock Infinite, players will encounter Elizabeth, a girl who has been held captive for most of her life by winged beast, The Songbird. Her attitudes towards the creature are heavily conflicted. On one hand, she hates it for oppressing her for so long, but on the other hand she feels for it as it has brought her up since childhood. Talking to CVG, Levine said: "I’ve had the experience of knowing a girl once, dating her once actually, who had been with somebody who had abused her before. All the clichés you hear about are true. She would say that this guy had pushed her down the stairs when she was pregnant, that he had made her kneel in glass… all these unspeakably horrible things. Then she would make excuses for him, all the time. I knew the entire time that we were dating that she would go back to him. I could just see it. It was this tragic thing happening in real-time. And she did go back to him.”

“That’s not Elizabeth – Elizabeth is trying to get free – but she definitely has a connection,” Levine explained. “This is the thing that raised her: this was the only contact she had. He brought her food, and her clothes and her books. He played with her when she was a kid.”

“So she’s conflicted and I think conflicted characters are way more interesting than characters who act with a certainty.”